Wissensnacht Ruhr

How can the Ruhr Metropolis be more climate-friendly in everyday life? How can climate-neutral transportation be implemented effectively in the region? How does today’s cultural climate affect our future approach to climate change? The region-wide “Night of Sciences” programme WissensNacht Ruhr will provide people from around the Ruhr Valley with answers to these questions and more. The theme of the programme is “Discovering Climate” and will feature activities, exhibitions, presentations and more at eleven public locations from 4 p.m. to midnight on the 2nd of October. Scientists and artists, together with hosting universities, research institutes and local companies, will present an accessible and exciting look at the challenges and opportunities that climate change will bring for the Ruhr Valley. Visitors will have the chance to not only marvel at interesting experiments and presentations, but also roll up their sleeves in a variety of high-tech, hands-on workshops. Over 200 different offerings are planned, including 53 hands-on workshops, 34 presentations as well as 18 excursions and guided tours.

One of the focal points of the WissensNacht Ruhr programme will be Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences with its campus in Kamp-Lintfort. Kids between six and ten can race against the clock in specially designed vehicles to find out who’s the fastest driver around, while adults can learn about the university’s Promuove project, which seeks to combine public transportation and modern communication technologies to create innovative new mobility concepts. Both kids and adults can take part in a sustainable energy workshop to build their very own bioreactors or solar updraft towers, while the “global players” out there will have the chance to play Head of State and compete against players to beat the odds and develop the best national environmental policy.

WissensNacht Ruhr is the first event of its kind in the Ruhr Valley and was organised by the Ruhr Regional Association (RVR) to launch its climate protection initiative klimametropole RUHR 2022. RVR director Karola Geiß-Netthöfel explains the motivation behind the event: “Climate change will be one of the most difficult challenges facing us as both as an economic region and a society. Our newly established universities and research institutes in particular will play a pivotal role in shaping an eco-friendly and sustainable Ruhr Metropolis. WissensNacht Ruhr offers children and adults from around the region a unique opportunity to see the Ruhr Valley’s own research landscape up-close and learn all about the innovative solutions it has produced.”

The programme is supported by experts from a wide range of fields and disciplines from around the region – from engineering and mathematics to climate research and biology, to city planning, design, and even society and the arts. Their goal will be to introduce visitors to new and efficient technologies, sustainable production methods and processes as well as new, environmentally-friendly trends in lifestyle and culture.

In addition to Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, a number of other institutions and research organisations from across the region will also be present: Essen-based FOM University of Applied Sciences and the research institute Gas- und Wärme-Institut Essen e.V., Duisburg-based research institutes NanoEnergieTechnikZentrum (NETZ) and Institut für Energie- und Umwelttechnik e.V. as well as the Faculty of Physics from the University of Duisburg-Essen. These scientific institutions are not only respected innovators from the region – they also represent the on-going paradigm shift that has transformed the Ruhr Valley from a coal-driven, industrial powerhouse to a dynamic, post-industrial centre of information and knowledge.

Apart from the locations provided by these six universities and research institutes, a variety of other activities are planned at select locations in the cities Bochum, Dortmund, Duisburg, Essen and Gelsenkirchen. Special event fares will allow visitors to freely move about the Ruhr Valley’s regional public transportation network, while three shuttle bus lines will also be standing by to take visitors along on a colourful and varied tour of the event locations. 

WissensNacht Ruhr is a part of the landmark climate protection initiative “klimametropole RUHR 2022”, which was developed by the Ruhr Regional Association for the larger state-wide climate change initiative KlimaExpoNRW. The project klimametropole RUHR 2022 aims to take on future climate change-related challenges facing the Ruhr Metropolis and promote public awareness of current climate protection projects and actors.

For more information, visit the WissensNacht Ruhr website at www.wissensnacht.ruhr (in German).